Document Type

Book Chapter

Publication Date


Publication Title

Handbook of Agent Technology


Department of Computer Science


A mobile agent is an executing program that can migrate, at times of its own choosing, from machine to machine in a heterogeneous network. On each machine, the agent interacts with stationary service agents and other resources to accomplish its task. In this chapter, we first make the case for mobile agents, discussing six strengths of mobile agents and the applications that benefit from these strengths. Although none of these strengths are unique to mobile agents, no competing technique shares all six. In other words, a mobile-agent system provides a single general framework in which a wide range of distributed applications can be implemented efficiently and easily. We then present a representative cross-section of current mobile-agent systems.


Listed in the Dartmouth College Computer Science Technical Report Series as TR2000-365.

Original Citation

Gray, R.S., Kotz, D., Cybenko, G., & Rus, D. (2000). Mobile Agents: Motivations and State-of-the-Art Systems. In J.M. Bradshaw (ed.), Handbook of Agent Technology. AAAI/MIT Press.